ABOVE: The Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society says 201 dogs were seized from a single property in Alberta. WARNING: Video contains images that may be considered disturbing.
CALGARY – The SPCA is investigating a severe case of animal neglect in southern Alberta.
The organization says they seized 201 extremely emaciated dogs from a single property in Milk River during a two-stage operation.
Dogs found frozen in garbage bag: Prince Albert SPCA
The first removal happened on December 23rd, when the owner voluntarily surrendered 60 dogs to the SPCA.
“By convincing the owner to voluntarily surrender those first 60 dogs, the Alberta SPCA could immediately transfer ownership to animal adoption organizations in southern Alberta,” says Roland Lines with the Alberta SPCA.
When the first 60 dogs were removed, the SPCA had estimated it was about half the total number at the property.
However, when they later returned to search of the property, they discovered scores more dogs hiding inside and under various trailers and outbuildings.
Five Alberta SPCA peace officers, a veterinarian and two members of a southern Alberta animal rescue society removed an additional 141 dogs from the property during the second operation on January 13th.
They say the dogs were malnourished, dehydrated and lacking sufficient shelter from the winter conditions.
BELOW: A view of the rural property where area residents say 201 dogs were sized by Alberta SPCA. The land is located about 6 kilometers east of Milk River.
Because the second visit involved the removal of animals under a search warrant, the Alberta SPCA had to hold the dogs for 10 days to allow the owner time to apply for their return.
“The owner was unsuccessful in reclaiming them by the end of 10 days,” said Lines.
The Alberta SPCA then transferred ownership of the animals to the Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) on January 25th.
“AARCS can now find new, loving homes for the dogs.”
AARCS Executive Director Deanna Thompson says it’s one of the worst cases they’ve ever seen in terms of neglect.
“We have never seen anything to this extent in all of our history.”
They say the dogs – a mixture of Huskies, Irish Wolf Hounds, Malamutes and Komondors – were in horrendous condition.
“They came to us extremely emaciated, with badly matted fur, dehydrated and very hungry.”
“We’re dealing with a lot of grooming issues,” added Thompson. “They were extremely matted due to the type of breeds they were.”
“We have one [dog] with a broken leg, one with a broken jaw, a puppy with a gaping wound on its neck that required surgery.”
The SPCA says charges are pending against the owner.
CLICK HERE to view photos of the seized dogs. WARNING: The images are graphic and may be considered disturbing to some viewers.